If you’re new to Matched Betting then I’m sure you have some questions. You might be confused, or sceptical. Read on to learn more.
Matched Betting — All Your Questions Answered
Does Matched Betting Really Work?
It absolutely works. This isn’t some kind of betting scam.
When done right, Matched Betting is completely risk free. You just have to take care to place the right bets/stakes. You can learn how to do that from my step-by-step guide.
What do You Need to Start Matched Betting?
Strictly speaking you only require the essentials of:
- Free bets
- A betting exchange account.
Recommended Betting Exchanges
Betdaq — £10 Free BetThe second largest betting exchange, offering a low 2% commission rate.Claim Now
Betfair — £100 Free BetInnovative and comprehensive. Home to the world's leading betting exchange.Claim Now
Matchbook — £10 Free BetA Betfair alternative offering low commission rates and active markets.Claim Now
Smarkets — £10 RefundAlternative betting exchange to Betfair, offering a (lower) 2% commission rate.Claim Now
However, you’ll need more than this if you truly want to maximise your profits from Matched Betting. Learn more on this from my post: Matched Betting Essentials.
What Type of People Do Matched Betting?
All walks of life participate in Matched Betting. Students, bankers, entrepreneurs and single Mums — to name a few.
Notice how I didn’t list gamblers. Risk-free betting doesn’t usually appeal to them.
Do Bookmakers Mind Matched Betting?
Matched Bettors aren’t their ‘model’ customers. But they know that it goes on and they don’t try to stamp it out.
There’s been several public statements that imply that Bookmakers don’t particularly care it. After all free bets attract new customers, and not everyone that claims a free bet goes on to become a Matched Betting expert. Plenty of new customers become gamblers. Even some percentage of Matched Bettors will continue to bet recreationally, too.
Furthermore, Bookmakers can’t be sure that you’re Matched Betting to begin with. They don’t have any rights (or ability) to investigate your Betfair betting activity.
Is Matched Betting Legal?
From a Bookie’s perspective, it’s always the same loss they incur on free bets — regardless whether some customers create a no-lose bet from it.
Furthermore, specialist Matched Betting companies wouldn’t exist in the public domain if it was illegal.
Is There Such Thing as Matched Betting Without Free Bets?
Yes and no. You can’t profit from Matched Betting without free bets. However, the same process can be applied in situations where the Bookie offers better odds than Betfair, to earn a risk free profit. This is known as arbitrage betting.
For the best arb finders, read my post: What’s The Best Sports Arbing Software? (Sure Bet Finder)
Is Matched Betting Only for the UK? What Countries can do It?
Matched Betting is primarily aimed at the UK because sports betting is legal here. But strictly speaking Matched Betting can be done at any Bookmaker offering +EV promotions, provided you also have an account at a betting exchange.
If you’re unable to sign up to Bookmakers or claim offers because of your country of residence (e.g. the USA) or any other circumstances, then needless to say you won’t be earning from Matched Betting. No offers means no profit.
Can I Use an E-Wallet for Matched Betting?
Most free bet promotions state that you can’t deposit using an e-wallet. This helps to prevent fraud.
You’ll need to use a bank account, or other eligible deposit method.
Do I Need a Separate Bank Account for Matched Betting?
You don’t need it — but it’s advisable. If you are planning to apply for a loan or mortgage then having tons of gambling activity might not work in your favour. It’s best to keep it private.
However, if you open a bank account and only ever use it for betting activity, then there’s a risk it will be closed by the bank. Therefore the best compromise is to use your account for general expenses, too. Why not spend from that account?
Should I Used a VPN for Matched Betting?
I wouldn’t use a VPN for Matched Betting. It will look suspicious to the bookmaker. You don’t have anything to hide.
Is it True That Promotions are Restricted to One Account Per Household?
Yes, that’s usually the case. If two people share the same address (and/or IP address) then you won’t be able to claim multiple free bets. The Bookmakers have to protect themselves against abuse.
Is it OK to Use the Same Email for All the Bookmakers, Betting Exchanges, and any Matched Betting Sites?
Should I Use a Different Username for Each and Every Bookmaker, Betting Exchange, and Matched Betting Site?
It’s your call. They shouldn’t be allowed to share information between one another. However, with so much consolidation between betting companies in the UK I would suggest mixing it up to protect yourself.
Should I Consider the Time I Place Bets? Is There a ‘Best’ Time Window?
To be safe, do it in the evenings, after work. You might be mistaken for a professional bettor (or addict) if you bet at unusual hours. Neither are good labels to be given.
Do Bookmakers Suspect People Using Decimal Odds are Matched Bettors?
It’s definitely possible. No concrete evidence, though.
You could always keep your Bookmaker odds in fractions and convert them into decimals yourself, outside of their site.
Will Betting on Too Many ‘Close Matches’ Look Suspicious to the Bookmakers? Is this Something they Will Notice / Know About?
Yes, that’s one of the only ways they might suspect you’re matched betting. Don’t bet on events that are too closely matched.
Think about it. If there’s a close match, then it’s also where 99% of other matched bettors will be placing stakes. You don’t want to be mixed in with those guys for the sake of earning a few more pence per bet.
Is it Possible to Create a Situation where it’s Win-Win for the Punter and the Bookmaker?
Not really. Free bets always lose the Bookmakers money. Whether or not you’re matching it off on Betfair at your end makes no difference to them.
For Bookmakers, the aim is that their free bets attract genuine customers — those that lose money to them in the longrun through the overround. But matched betting puts the edge in favour of people that aren’t (usually) interested in gambling. It’s not a winning situation for the Bookmaker.
However, don’t kid yourself that Matched Betting is detrimental to the Bookmakers. It’s nowhere near that level yet.
Are there any Bookmakers Who are Particularly Savvy when it Comes to Identifying ‘Matched Bettors’?
Smaller bookies may have more ability (or inclination) to monitor individuals. In general, if you avoid close matches, the only other way Bookies can detect you’re matched betting is if you have a history of betting using free bets. That’s a good indication that you’re not interested in betting for fun.
Will I be Gubbed for Matched Betting? Should I Place Mug Bets to Conceal My Activity?
Anyone that does matched betting over a long period of time is likely to be gubbed eventually. Or you won’t be offered free bets any more — which is much the same outcome.
I don’t advise Mug Betting as there’s no guarantee it will help. Plus it loses money. But you may experiment and find your own strategy that works.
Be aware that once you’re gubbed you won’t convince the bookies to ‘un-gub’ your accounts. They won’t listen to your stories or excuses. They’ll ignore you!
Can Fraud Prevention Software be used to Identify Whether You do Matched Betting?
You’re not committing fraud by Matched Betting on your own account.
Besides, I don’t think a system can prove you’re Matched Betting unless it’s capable of snooping on your browser activity (which is generally illegal). You could use your matched betting services in a different browser to what you normally use, or switch on incognito/private mode. That should be safe enough.
Also, you could even place your Bookie bets on your phone, in a shop, or through the app. Then place the Lay bets on your desktop or phone afterwards.
Remember that you’re placing standard bets in popular markets. Unless you go out of your way to seek a 100% match (i.e. identical odds) between the Bookie and Betfair, then you won’t draw attention to yourself. Learn more here.
Does Maximising My Free Bet from the Bookie’s Welcome Offers Affect My Long-Term Account Health in any Way? Should I Take Less Than the Maximum Bonus?
No, it won’t. They offer these promotions to get new customers, after all. Some of them are gamblers, some are matched bettors. Might as well maximise it.
Should I Mimic the Patterns of a ‘Real Gambler’? (e.g. Bet Frequently on My Favourite Football Team)
There’s no need to mimic anything. Just stick with popular fixtures, that’s all.
You’ll make yourself obvious if you decide to bet on Division 2 Kazakhstan League football correct scores markets, etc. Just use common sense.
How Much can I Earn from Matched Betting?
This largely depends on what free bets are on offer, and how many you place. It’s not down to luck.
Dedicated matched bettors dedicate a lot of time into it. They’ll hoover up every free bet they can get their hands on, and earn thousands from it every year.
Is Matched Betting Sustainable? How can I Maximise What I Earn from Matched Betting?
Matched betting has been around for many years — but it might not last forever. I wouldn’t recommend doing it as a full time job. It’s just a great way to make some extra cash from home.
I highly recommend that you subscribe to one of the top Matched Betting Websites. They provide the tools, daily offers (free bets, promotions, casino bonuses), dummies guides, and ongoing support to help you sustain a regular income from Matched Betting.
To learn more ways of making money online, read my post: How To Earn An Income From Home